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Dwarsligger-format book: binding method
Psalms Book in dwarsligger format, opened in hand

Dwarsligger ("sleeper" or "crossbeam" in Dutch) is a book format, where the page of one page from a conventional book is printed across two pages of eight by twelve centimeters. The dwarsligger is published by Uitgeverij dwarsligger, part of Veen Bosch & Keuning Uitgeversgroep (VBK).


The dwarsligger was conceived by Hugo van Woerden, then director of the Dutch printer Jongbloed BV, which specializes in printing on very thin paper, a specialty that is used for the printing of Bibles and Songs of Songs. The idea was to create a new type of book that did not collapse, read pleasantly, and was easy to carry. [1] Jongbloed BV only focuses on printing Christian books, too small a market for the new idea. In order to get the new concept off the ground, it was therefore decided to grant a license to Ambo / Anthos publishers. [1]

The dwarsligger was registered as a trademark by Jongbloed BV in July 2006.

On 6 September 2009, the first Dutch copy of the dwarsligger during(?) Manuscripta by Herman Koch was awarded to Ronald Plasterk, Minister of Education, Culture and Science. [2]


Thanks to the special binding method the dwarsligger stays open without problems, and can be browsed and read with one hand. The browsing friendliness is not experienced by everyone as positive. [3]

The thin pages mean that fewer raw materials are needed than for conventional books.

Publishing dwarsligger gives novels, thrillers and non-fiction in a dwarsligger form. This concerns both translated and Dutch works. In most cases these books also appeared in a regular format. The publications of, among others, Herman Koch, Saskia Noort, Paulien Cornelisse and Dan Brown are published by Uitgeverij dwarsligger. In some cases the dwarsligger appears at the same time as the regular edition.


In addition to the Dutch and Flemish market, they are also trying to launch the book format elsewhere in the world. In 2010 this was done on the Spanish market, [4] and one year later the English publisher Hodder & Stoughton published a few dwarsliggers, under the name Flipback . In 2011, the Lutheran Bible was published in Germany in dwarsligger format. [5]


According to the trade journal Boekblad the publishers A.W. Bruna Uitgevers, Dutch Media and Nieuw Amsterdam launched the cross reader on 15 September 2010. In terms of size and appearance, the cross reader was very similar to the dwarsligger. Only the paper was different: whereas the dwarsligger is printed on thin paper, the cross reader is printed on pocket paper. [6] The Belgian newspaper De Morgen reported on 23 September 2010 that the Dutch printing company Jongbloed, which holds the patent on the dwarsligger, considered taking legal action. [7] The magazine Boekblad wrote on 22 October 2010 that lawyers were investigating whether the Characters (an initiative of the publisher Karakter) ) and the cross reader violate the patent. [8] On 7 March 2011 the publishers Dutch Media, A.W. Bruna and Nieuw Amsterdam announced that they had stopped selling cross readers because sales were below expectations. [9] On 11 March 2011, the Karakter publishing house decided not to place their variant of the dwarsligger on the market. [10]


  1. ^ a b Jongbloeddirecteur Van Woerden: sowing and then sleeping peacefully, Reformatorisch Dagblad , September 28, 2012
  2. ^ Drukkerij Jongbloed launches Dwarsligger, Adformatie , September 3, 2009
  3. ^ SWOT analysis, Bart van Oosterhout, Intermediair 37, 10 September 2009
  4. ^ Dwarslig is going international, Reformatorisch Dagblad, 25 November 2010
  5. ^ Luther Bible appears in Germany as 'dwarsligger', Reformatorisch Dagblad, 16 November 2011
  6. ^ Three publishers introduce 'Cross reader', Boekblad, 14 September 2010 (consulted on 23/12/2014)
  7. ^ Kapers op de kust voor de Dwarsligger De Morgen, 23 September 2010 (consulted on 23/12/2014)
  8. ^ dwarsligger versus cross reader, Boekblad, 22 October 2010 (consulted on 23/12/2014)
  9. ^ Pilot stops: sale Cross readers 'below expectations', Boekblad, 7 March 2011 (consulted on 23/12/2014)
  10. ^ Character deletes Characters, Boekblad, 11 March 2011 (accessed on 23/12/2014)

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